After a week of warm weather training in Spain, I think I can officially say that it was the hardest week of my life!
The first day was a real shock to the system, as my coach decided to throw me in the deep end with two very hard training sessions. The first was an early morning swim, waking up at 6:30 to do a set of 20x100m sprints. I have to say, I have done that session many times before, but I still find it hard every time I do it!
The second session was a 3 hour bike ride over the mountains of Denia. I used to think that the hills in England were hard, but they are nothing compared to these mountains! We climbed 3 mountains in that time and by the end, I was knackered! We were told that at the top of one of the mountains we cycled up, on a clear day you could see Ibiza from there; that kind of sums up how big these climbs were!
The next day was a lot easier. We had a pyramid session in the swim which I quite enjoyed, although I lost count of the amount of times I had to ask my coach what was next! Then it was onto another 3 hour bike ride, although it was a flat course this time. I was starting to think that my coach was being nice on me with the sessions as the day before was hard, but that wasn't his reason. I was told at the end of the day that it was a preparation day for Wednesday, time-trial day!
Wednesday rolled around too quickly for my liking. I knew it was going to be a hard day with 3 time trial sessions: swim, cycle and run. The swim was 3x400m as fast and hard as I could go. It was quite a successful session ending with a 10 second PB on the last 400m. I was really happy with this session and it lightened my mood a bit (well, until the biking started!)
The cycling time-trail was more of a multiple time-trial! It consisted of 4x4 minutes hard and 3x8 minutes hard, with a major head-wind hitting us for the majority of it! I was struggling by the end of it (particularly struggling with my asthma in the dust, heat and altitude) but my coach and my new training partner Seb helped me along the way.
But we didn't stop there. We got straight off the bike and started the run time trial. This was multiple time trials too along the coastal road. It was 10x 1 minute sprints with a minute rest in between. My coach ended up on the floor at the end having run so hard (see the picture below of me and Seb still standing!)
Thursday was the recovery day, with a bit of transition training in it. Both Seb and I got a bit competitive in this part! We went to the beach after, as we had earned a well deserved rest in the sun!
Friday was the long bike ride day including hill climbs. For 4 hours, we cycled over a mountain so we were in the middle of the valley. What amazing views. Then a long climb that felt like it went on for ages until the second big climb over the other side of the valley and the long stretch back towards home. But instead, Perry decided to take us over another climb before finishing!
After, we done a gentle run, just to get the lactic acid out of our legs.
Saturday was the day Seb was going home, so we done a run session in the morning before we had a team meeting in a local cafe. We were in there for ages, going through the race season, our team, and all sorts of things. Once Seb was gone, Perry and I went for a gentle 1hour 45 minute bike ride before packing up for the day.
Sunday was the day I was going home, so it was just an easy 30 minute run and packing day, the part that I hate!
Overall, we worked out that we have done 230 miles and 12 hours and 45 minutes of cycling with 6000m worth of hill climbing! I would say that this week has been a real success and Ive loved every second !!:)